is one of the most densely populated regions of Poland. It is also highly urbanized and industrialized. At the same time in Silesia Voivodship there are located the most of highly specialized medical centers (hospitals, health clinics, medical profile research institutes, institutes of higher education), which during its everyday activity notice requirement of establishing long term strategy of posttraumatic and rehabilitation care. Upper Silesia Agency for Entrepreneurship and Development Ltd. is MedSilesia cluster coordinator. MedSilesia cluster brings together most important companies from health care business in region and the whole Poland.
One of the areas in which the Silesia Region distinguishes itself on not only the national, but also the international scale, is medicine, especially cardio-surgery and oncology. Regional hospitals specializing in these fields of medicine are high in the national rankings: CARDIO-SURGERY - the Silesia Centre for Heart Diseases (Zabrze), the Upper Silesia Medical Centre, the Clinic of Cardiology (Katowice); ONCOLOGY - the Centre for Oncology, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute (Gliwice), the Clinic for Hematology and Transplantology (Katowice); BURNS - the Centre for Burns Treatment (Siemianowice Śląskie).
The Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases in Zabrze - one of Poland's most important centres for heart transplantation is merits special emphasis. Each year complicated cardiologic and transplantation operations are carried out there. The Zabrze hospital is among the best, as far as operations on the aortic aneurysm are concerned. Together with a few other Polish centres, the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases is one of the European leaders in the field of cardio-surgery. More and more frequently, doctors from Zabrze perform life-saving simultaneous transplantations of two organs, which is a very rare practice. Another clinic specializing in cardio-surgery is the Clinic No. 1 in Katowice Ochojec. It is one of the best in the world in the field of minimally-invasive operations and the application of modern technologies. This clinic operates on the premises of the Independent State Clinical Hospital No. 7 of the Medical University of Silesia, which was rated first in the Newsweek ranking as the best Polish hospital. For two years, doctors from the hospital in Katowice Ochojec have been performing operations on the heart with no necessity to cut the chest, thanks to the application of the Ezop robot. The patients who do not have to undergo procedures performed by cardio-surgeons are treated in one of the three modern cardiologic clinics.
Oncology is another medical specialization, apart from cardio-surgery, characteristic for the Silesia Region. The Centre for Oncology - the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute in Gliwice - Is currently the most modern hospital in Poland. Its equipment is fully computerized.
On the other hand, the Clinic for Hematology and Marrow Transplantation in Katowice is a centre for marrow transplantation, occupying leading position in Europe. It is here where for the first time in Poland marrow transplantation from a foreign donor was performed, as well as marrow transplantation from a Polish non-relative. As the only one in Poland, the centre in Katowice has accreditation at the American Marrow Donor Registry.
Finally, the Centre for Burns Treatment in Siemianowice Śląskie is a Poland's leading centre for the treatment of burns injuries and their complications. The goals and tasks of the centre include, among other things, burns treatment, hyperbaric oxygenation (burns, post-injury burns, infections, inflammations, oedemas), and rehabilitation for post-burns complications.
In terms of economy, the Silesia Region is one of the strongest in Poland. 13% of Poland's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated here, giving the Region the second highest rank in Poland. GDP per inhabitant amounts to PLN 32,800 and is by 4,000 higher than the national average.
The economic transformations going on in the region have resulted in a significant change in the structure of the gross added value (the newly produced value) generated in the region. The share of market and non-market services accounts for nearly 60% and industry 33%, ranking Silesia first in Poland.
The Silesia Region is rich in natural resources such as hard coal, deposits of zinc, lead, methane, natural gas, marlstone, chalkstone, and natural break-stone, as well as medicinal, thermal and mineral waters. The existing raw material base led to the creation of Poland's largest industrial region.
Currently, hard coal mining and iron and steel industry are undergoing deep restructuring. Reduced employment rate, from 243,000 people in 1997 to 121,300 in 2009, and improved efficiency are some of the effects brought by the transformations implemented in mining. Metallurgy, on the other hand, has been affected by essential changes in forms of ownership and management structure. The result is nearly complete privatisation of the industry.
Parallel to the above transformations, also the entire fuel-energy system is under restructuring. Owing to the high concentration of industry, the Silesia Region is Poland's largest electric energy producer (20% of domestic production).
Now in the process of restructuring, traditional Silesia industrial branches were the basis on which branches connected with their operation were developed, that is, first of all engineering industry, equipped with appropriate machines and experienced staff. After the difficult transformations introduced in the first years of the nineties, the industry entered numerous foreign markets and now is a crucial element of the industrial landscape of the Region.
Restructuring in the recent years has caused systematic changes in the economic structure of the Region. The whole industry reports a decreased share of mining and metallurgy, which until recently were predominant in the economy of the region , and an increased share of the electro-engineering industry, the information technology industry, power industry and, reporting the most rapid growth, the automotive industry (the region is Poland's largest car producer) and food industry.
Over 430,000 national economy entities are registered in the Silesia Region. The largest part is comprised of natural persons running business activity - 325,000 - and companies and commercial law partnerships - 30,000. The least numerous is the group of state-owned enterprises - 28. Of the total number of economic entities, 96% operate in the private sector.